Don't click or your IP will be banned


Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band Forum
You are not logged in

< Last Thread   Next Thread ><<  1    2    3    4  >>Ascending sortDescending sorting  
Author: Subject: Skydog book - nice one Randy...

Peach Master





Posts: 500
(500 all sites)
Registered: 11/27/2001
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/26/2006 at 12:37 PM
Just finished Randy's book - it's great stuff! Plenty of new insight (the story of Duane asking to becoming a session player was very different to the common idea of Rick Hall going after him) and well written too. Nothing jumps to mind to correct - but the one thing that I was surprised not to see mentioned was anything to do with the New Years Eve 1970 Warehouse gig - it's notable I guess for two reasons... firstly the lengthy interview Duane did before going on stage (if I recall, it's scanned in somewhere on this site - though I haven't read it for ages) - he touches on plenty of subjects (including political leanings, something that wasn't mentioned really in the book) - but also secondly he crucially mentions that Tom Dowd was supposed to be there recording it. In some parallel universe I'm pretty certain we're all gathered on the internet going on about how "Live At The Warehouse" is the seminal live album of the era. Especially the impromptu Auld Lang Syne!

Anyway, it's only a very small ommission in what is really a great book. Between it, Midnight Riders, Willie Perkins' book, and Red Dogs, we really have so many different angles of the early ABB to look at. Great stuff, and very inspiring. Nice one Randy!

 
Visit User's Homepage
Replies:

A Peach Supreme



Karma:
Posts: 2465
(2465 all sites)
Registered: 11/14/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/26/2006 at 03:53 PM


yup I'm just reading it now, and ............. lovin it, good job vicar!!

 

____________________

 

True Peach



Karma:
Posts: 11728
(12868 all sites)
Registered: 1/7/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 10:09 AM
quote:
Anyway, it's only a very small ommission in what is really a great book. Between it, Midnight Riders, Willie Perkins' book, and Red Dogs, we really have so many different angles of the early ABB to look at. Great stuff, and very inspiring. Nice one Randy!


Fully agreed -- just finished reading it & what a joy it was. Thank you Randy for this carefully done, thoroughly researched & well written biography. I probably misread the part regarding the 12/12 and 12/13/70 shows in which the Brothers were to appear at the Fillmore East & the shows were being promoted on the NYC radio interview -- they played at American U. on 12/13, which is just how it's listed in the discography.
Once again, an exemplary job & great book.

 

____________________
"We improvise a lot better playin music than we do talkin” - Dickey 1989
“Man in the scheme of life we ain’t got no contract” - Butch 2000
“Boston has always been one of our most righteous gigs” - BO 1971

 

Peach Bud



Karma:
Posts: 23
(23 all sites)
Registered: 12/7/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 11:00 AM
Randy - I really enjoyed your book on brother Duane. Thank you very much for doing that.
 
E-Mail User

Peach Bud



Karma:
Posts: 8
(8 all sites)
Registered: 6/13/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 12:06 PM
Just finished my copy a couple of days ago. Great work Randy, thanks. Brother Duane will not be forgotten.

 

____________________
The eagle flies on Friday

 

Peach Bud



Karma:
Posts: 14
(14 all sites)
Registered: 1/30/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 04:16 PM
Ray, Walk the line.....Skydog, now that would be a movie
 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 07:28 PM
(the story of Duane asking to becoming a session player was very different to the common idea of Rick Hall going after him)

Admittedly I haven't read the book so I don't know exactly what was said but Johnny remembers that in the beginning Jimmy Johnson, who engineered the three of four songs the Hourglass cut at fame (Eddie Hinton was the producer) told Rick about Duane and Rick hired Duane for the Wilson Pickett session. After that it was a natural for Rick to use him. I read the above to Johnny and he said it really didn't sound like something that Duane would have done, however,he added if Randy got the story from Jimmy Johnson personally, then it's probably true.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Peach Pro



Karma:
Posts: 237
(237 all sites)
Registered: 10/16/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 08:24 PM
Thanks to all of you for all the kind words about the book. I'm really happy to know that it has been enjoyed and accepted by those of you here on the forum, since being on the forum means you're obviously among Duane's biggest fans.

This has been a very depressing day. I'm looking forward to November 20th, when we can all celebrate the 60th anniversary of Duane's birth - as opposed to dwelling on today, the 35th anniversary of his passing.

As I pointed out in the book, Duane had already been in Muscle Shoals for several months by the time the Pickett session happened. Since "Hey Jude" was the first actual hit record Duane played on, there's a natural tendency to remember it as being Duane's first gig in Muscle Shoals. However, that simply wasn't the case.

The dates on the tape boxes for various other sessions, including the Clarence Carter tracks Duane played on (which Rick Hall produced BTW), predate the Pickett "Hey Jude" session, so Rick knew about Duane several months before "Hey Jude" happened.

When I interviewed Rick Hall, he told me that Duane showed up, "hat in hand," looking for work. He said the same thing on the CMT "Southern Rock" documentary.

I told Rick that I had always heard he'd sent a telegram to Duane in Florida, asking him to come up and play on the Pickett session. He said he had no idea what I was talking about - that he already had Junior Lowe, Eddie Hinton, and sometimes Bobby Womack to play lead guitar on Pickett's sessions. He told me Duane played on the session because Pickett showed up on short notice, and Duane came to the studio as soon as he heard Pickett was in town.

I checked this version of events with Jerry Wexler himself. Wex told me that he and Ahmet did, indeed, send Pickett to Muscle Shoals just to get him out of their hair. Wex told me that he called Rick and told him he'd have to produce the session because he (Wexler) wasn't going to be able to fly down and do it himself.

None of this is to take anything away from Jimmy Johnson. Jimmy's a friend of mine, and has been for many years. As close to perfect as Jimmy's memory is, I'm sure he'd realize that Pickett's was not the first Muscle Shoals session Duane played on if he was reminded of the Clarence Carter sessions that preceeded it.

Randy

http://www.skydogbook.com

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 09:07 PM
Johnny remembers that in the beginning Jimmy Johnson, who engineered the three of four songs the Hourglass cut at fame (Eddie Hinton was the producer) told Rick about Duane and Rick hired Duane for the Wilson Pickett session.

Obviously there was a great deal of detail in between the 'told Rick about Duane AND the 'Rick hired Duane for the Wilson Pickett session' part. Knowing Duane, Johnny still can't believe he ever showed up 'hat in hand' no matter what Rick might have said....and you'd have to know Rick to understand that statement. Duane, according to Johnny, showed up everywhere there was music being made asking if anyone needed a guitar player. He would show up during the Capricorn days when he wasn't on the road to see if there was anything anyone wanted/needed him to play on. Duane wanted to play....and thank heaven he did....every chance he got! Duane never had to go to anyone 'hat in hand' asking for work.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/29/2006 at 10:01 PM
Okay, I found what I was looking for. Don't know if this information is in the book, but here is what I have about Duane recording in the Shoals.

April 22, 1968 the Hourglass recorded at Fame. The next recordings listed are September 18-19, 1968 on the Clarence Carter album when he played rhythm guitar on Steal Away and Think About It and acoustic guitar on Look What I Got. This is the first time Duane is listed as a guitarist in the Atlantic Master list.

Although Wilson Picket began his recording September 19, 1968, Duane didn't play guitar until the October 28-31, 1968 sessions. On those sessions, he played on Search Your Heart, Save Me, Back In Your Arms and Mini Skirt Minnie.

Before that date, Duane played on an album with Laura Lee on the songs, It's How Good You Make It and It Ain't What You Do on October 9 and 10, 1968 according to Jimmy Johnson.

On November 1, 1968 Duane played slide on Twice A Man at Quin Ivy studio in Muscle Shoals for the Barry Goldberg album. November 12-13, 1968 back at Fame, he played lead guitar on Light My Fire and rhythm guitar on Weekend Love and Harper Valley PTA for the Clarence Carter album. Also during November 1968 Duane played lead guitar on Ob-La Di Ob-La Da, Stuff You Gotta Watch and That Can't Be My Baby and lead and slide guitar on Speak Her Name for the Arthur Conley More Sweet Soul Music album.

December 17-19, 1968, on the Soul Survivors album Take Another Look, Duane played rhythm guitar on Jesse, Keey Your Faith and slide guitar on Darkness, acoustic guitar on Get Down On Saturday and lead guitar on Tell Daddy and We Got A Job To Do.

Duane returned to Jacksonville, then to the Miami Pop Festival thereafter.

Duane mentioned in an interview that he recorded with James Carr which would have been at Fame January 19, 1969 but said there was nothing recorded worth listening to. The next recording was at Beavis Studio, Sheffield, AL January 20-21, 1969 with The Duck and The Bear. The players on those two sides were Eddie Hinton- guitar, Duane Allman- slide guitar, Berry Beckett- piano/organ, David Hood - bass, Johnny Sandlin- drums.

Back at Fame Studios, January/February, 1969, Duane began his solo album which ended after the King Curtis sessions February 16/17/18, 1969 when Duane left Muscle Shoals with Jaimoe. (February 17, 1969, while working on the King Curtis album, Duane played lead guitar on Mourning In The Morning. on the Otis Rush session, also at Fame.)

By April 1969 he was at Capricorn Studios working on an Allman Brothers album.

As I said before, if there was recording going on somewhere, Duane was there ready to play.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 1200
(1200 all sites)
Registered: 3/19/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 01:16 AM
I wonder if Rick Hall's "hat in hand" comment was just his interpretation of Duane's "at your service" attitude regarding possible sessions. Rick was the established producer and the potential employer with already pretty complete guitar staffing being contacted by an applicant with a limited resume. In the beginning Rick thought he might be doing this guy a favor to let him play while all Duane wanted was to do what came naturally to him. I too doubt that Duane would go into a "do me a favor" mode especially when it came to anything related to music. The important thing is that they made the connection and Rick was quick to pick up on Duane's talent.

 

____________________
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.
 
E-Mail User

A Peach Supreme



Karma:
Posts: 2652
(2664 all sites)
Registered: 9/19/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 01:27 AM
Thanks bigann for the session notes.
Thars gold in them thar posts !

 

____________________
I'm a hung up on dreams I'll never see

 

Peach Pro



Karma:
Posts: 237
(237 all sites)
Registered: 10/16/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 04:53 AM
The one other thing to keep in mind about Duane's musical career during the second half of 1968 is that he went from the Hour Glass breaking up to the 31st of February sessions. When Gregg headed back to L.A. to continue recording for Liberty, that brought an instant end the 31st of February sessions. So, this was a rare point in Duane's life in that he found himself without a band to lead. He knew that his old friend Eddie Hinton had gotten a gig in Muscle Shoals, so (no doubt believing in himself enough to know that he was the better player) he went to Muscle Shoals to work his way into the scene there.

If, instead, Rick Hall had actually taken the time to seek Duane out somewhere in Florida to play on a Wilson Pickett session, that would have been a remarkably fortuitous event - especially considering Duane's circumstances at that very moment. What if Gregg hadn't gone back to L.A.? Would Duane have said no to Rick's request? There's not an answer to the question because Rick didn't go looking for Duane in the first place.

Anyone who knows Rick Hall knows Rick would've gladly taken the credit for "discovering" Duane Allman. This is a man with an ego just shy of Muhammed Ali's. If he had heard the Hour Glass tapes and sent a telegram to Duane in Florida (which Rick says simply did not happen), that's the story he'd be telling everybody. But I interviewed Rick in 1978 and again in 2004. Both times I brought up the telegram story and both times he said that's not how events unfolded.

Throughout the book I used quotes by various people who had relationships with Duane Allman. I didn't make many "judgement calls" because I felt my job was to report the stories being told by the people who knew Duane, as long as those stories matched the timeline of Duane's life, and as long as they didn't directly conflict with everyone else's point of view. If someone's story didn't jibe in any way, shape or form with what others were saying about a specific incident, I went with a "majority rules" approach every time and ignored the bull**** to the best of my ability. If two or three different people told me two or three different stories about the exact same event, I occasionally let everybody tell their version, leaving it up to the reader to decide if any of them seemed plausible.

The best example (which isn't even about Duane, actually) is how Gregg ended up back in Florida. John McEuen had his version; Eddie Reeves had his version; and Gregg had his version (Gregg's version being that he hitchiked all the way there). When I told Scott Boyer that Gregg said he'd hitchhiked across the country to get to Florida, he burst out laughing and said, "Can you really imagine Gregg hitchhiking?" So, rather than going with just Gregg's version of events, I simply let everyone tell their own story. No harm. No foul. The point was simply that Gregg was in L.A. recording for Liberty, and that he heeded his brother's call and went to Florida to become a member of what became the ABB. How he got there wouldn't have been of much interest if there weren't three different people with three different stories - a couple of which I thought deserved to be in the book just for the entertainment value alone.

As far as Rick's "hat in hand" comment is concerned, I'd be the first to agree that it's hard to imagine that Duane would show up appearing to be a humble figure begging for employment. In fact, I found it so hard to imagine that I didn't even use that phrase in the book. I mentioned it in my previous post only to show that Rick certainly didn't appear to have been seeking Duane out.

In the book, I let Rick tell the story of Duane arriving, introducing himself, and quickly working his way into the scene - his first job being to play slide on a demo, which blew Rick away. I also used Rick's quote that Duane "had an abundance of confidence that he could do anything and that we were going about the whole thing bass-ackwards." So, if Duane had first appeared to Rick as a humble figure, he would've had to undergo a really quick personality change.

In one interview I did with Jimmy Johnson, he said, point blank, that "Hey Jude" was the first session Duane played on. I don't really think that's what he meant. I'm sure he meant that "Hey Jude" was the first session Duane played on that became a hit. In fact, since Duane appears to have played guitar on Pickett sessions from Oct. 28-31, 1968, all of those sessions pre-dated Pickett's recording of "Hey Jude."

For almost 30 years I have been working for songwriters. None of them have ever shared their stories of songs they wrote that flopped or didn't do much on the charts. They talk about the hits. I once interviewed a record producer in NYC who told me he produced 10 hits in a row, but when I went back and looked at his discography, I discovered that the phrase "in a row" has a different meaning for him than it does for the rest of us.

At this point in my "writing career," I have absolutely no idea how many people I've interviewed. I do know that everybody seems to have a couple of things in common: 1) They don't tend to want to dwell on any negative aspect of their personality or career; and 2) They are the center of the story, no matter who the story is about. It's human nature. Every single one of us does it.

If I were to interview an ABB fan and say, "Tell me about that Beacon concert you went to last March," the response would start with something like, "Well, two of my buddies and I drove all the way from Pittsburgh to go to the show." The teller of the story is always the center of the story until you steer that person closer to the subject, as in, "So what song did the band open with?" And if opener was "Mountain Jam," the response would likely be something like, "You're not going to believe it, but they opened with 'Mountain Jam.' I thought my buddy Jim was going to pass out. I had a bet with him that they'd open with 'Mountain Jam,' so when they did I was high-fiving everybody in my row."

I might have to ask somebody a half dozen questions before I get an answer to my initial question. Now, multiply that by several dozen people over the course of hundreds of hours of interviews. Then imagine trying to start distilling that information into a narrative that somehow stays on course for over 500 manuscript pages. It's like trying to put together a 100,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again. Having finished the Duane book, it cracks me up when somebody tells me they've just read a great biography of Mozart. I spent 2 1/2 years double, triple, and quadruple fact-checking various events in Duane's life - getting much of my information from people who knew the man well. It's hard to imagine how accurate a book about anybody who's been dead for over 100 years could actually be!

I did the best I could in writing the book (although, if I'd had my way, it would've been almost twice as long), and I really appreciate all the kind things everyone has said about it. To know that so many people on the forum have enjoyed "Skydog" has made me realize that all of those sleepness nights of writing were really worth it - and for that I'm extremely grateful.

Randy

http://www.skydogbook.com

 

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 1089
(1102 all sites)
Registered: 1/18/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 09:26 AM
Randy - that's good stuff.
thank you

 

A Peach Supreme



Karma:
Posts: 2465
(2465 all sites)
Registered: 11/14/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 01:51 PM
quote:
that all of those sleepness nights of writing were really worth it - and for that I'm extremely grateful.
Randy



And we're extremely grateful to thee, (and personally, I'm looking forward to the expanded edition that's "almost twice as long"
It's also very cool to come on here and have you tell us the background to it all, it's enhancing my experience for sure .

D

 

____________________

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 01:57 PM
Interesting note. Several years ago they cleaned out the archives on one of the Shoals recording studios and discovered a treasure of recordings Duane played on by people no one would recognize. Having our own recording studio and having done demos for a while after the studio opened, I can understand how that would be totally possible. Bill Thames, who knew Duane from way back in the early days in Florida told me this weekend he couldn't belive there wasn't still stuff out there no one has heard. He's right, there is. I wonder if any of that will eventually see the light of day.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Universal Peach



Karma:
Posts: 5944
(6041 all sites)
Registered: 1/24/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 02:55 PM
First, thank you Randy Poe for trying to do it right. I can't imagine the effort and time involved, but I thank you for dedicating so much of yourself to this project.
Second, I want to relate a conversation with Bill Thames yesterday. He talked about the small window in time that existed for all this to happen. In his words, "One or two years before, one or two years later." My own opinion is that the window, the moment in time, was much shorter.

Talked to Lefty this morning, he spoke of the comfort and solace his entire family got from his giving them copies of the GB posts here. I believe there's a much greater power at work, has been all along, in this whole situation.


EAPFP

 
E-Mail User

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 03:02 PM
Anyone who knows Rick Hall knows Rick would've gladly taken the credit for "discovering" Duane Allman. This is a man with an ego just shy of Muhammed Ali's. If he had heard the Hour Glass tapes and sent a telegram to Duane in Florida (which Rick says simply did not happen), that's the story he'd be telling everybody. But I interviewed Rick in 1978 and again in 2004. Both times I brought up the telegram story and both times he said that's not how events unfolded.

I don't know where you got the telegram story in the first place but I've never ever heard that version of events. It just didn't happen that way.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Ultimate Peach



Karma:
Posts: 3138
(3139 all sites)
Registered: 5/23/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 08:26 PM
quote:
I did the best I could in writing the book (although, if I'd had my way, it would've been almost twice as long), and I really appreciate all the kind things everyone has said about it. To know that so many people on the forum have enjoyed "Skydog" has made me realize that all of those sleepness nights of writing were really worth it - and for that I'm extremely grateful.

Randy

http://www.skydogbook.com


Psst! Hey, Randy!

Ya wanna make some quick bucks? Sell the outtakes from your book! I gotta hunch nearly everybody here would like a look at the pages that would have made the book longer than the publisher wanted!

Billastro

 

____________________
Canis Major: The Original Skydog



"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

 

Peach Master



Karma:
Posts: 849
(859 all sites)
Registered: 11/25/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 10:55 PM
quote:
I don't know where you got the telegram story in the first place but I've never ever heard that version of events. It just didn't happen that way.
Quote from Guitar Player magazine, October 1981 Duane Allman special issue, page 76:

Gregg went back to LA in 1968 to fulfill contractual agreements with Liberty, and Duane started jamming in Jacksonville with bassist Berry Oakley, who was in a lineup with Dickey Betts called The Second Coming. He moved in with Oakley until Fame owner Rick Hall, remembering the Hour Glass dates, sent him a telegram inviting him to participate in Wilson Pickett's November '68 sessions.

If taking place in more recent times, maybe the tale could have had Duane being notified by fax instead of telegram??

 

Peach Head



Karma:
Posts: 196
(196 all sites)
Registered: 7/31/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/30/2006 at 11:23 PM
Randy;

What Billastro said! (I second that...)

Yes, I enjoyed the book immensely. You accomplished what you set out to do in that it is very well written: the text flows & it reads well. I learned some new tidbits of info about Skydog & his times. It brought back some pleasant memories, debunked some myths & fleshed out some stories & rumors I heard long ago. Chapter 17 is my fave; the interview with Bobby Whitlock is worth the price of the book alone.
(Here comes the "But...")
I feel there are a few gaps in the story & an interview or two. Perhaps they were omitted because an editor felt they "slowed down" or confused the narrative? Or maybe you didn't want to cover things already told by say, Midnight Riders or W.Perkin's book?
Or maybe you just wanted to cover Duane's music legacy & leave the "warts" & unpleasantries to the others, so as not to piss off Gregg... In that case, you did a great job.
ANYWAYS, I'd love to read (& buy) the omitted chapter(s).

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 12:10 AM
quote:
quote:
I don't know where you got the telegram story in the first place but I've never ever heard that version of events. It just didn't happen that way.
Quote from Guitar Player magazine, October 1981 Duane Allman special issue, page 76:

Gregg went back to LA in 1968 to fulfill contractual agreements with Liberty, and Duane started jamming in Jacksonville with bassist Berry Oakley, who was in a lineup with Dickey Betts called The Second Coming. He moved in with Oakley until Fame owner Rick Hall, remembering the Hour Glass dates, sent him a telegram inviting him to participate in Wilson Pickett's November '68 sessions.

I suppose that explains where the telegraph story came from. Knowing Rick, I'm more inclined to belive that he picked up the phone and called Duane direct. He's just that kind of guy. Amazing how something erroneous can be written and perpetuated as truth for years isn't it!

If taking place in more recent times, maybe the tale could have had Duane being notified by fax instead of telegram??

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Peach Pro



Karma:
Posts: 295
(295 all sites)
Registered: 12/16/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 12:35 AM
quote:
Interesting note. Several years ago they cleaned out the archives on one of the Shoals recording studios and discovered a treasure of recordings Duane played on by people no one would recognize. Having our own recording studio and having done demos for a while after the studio opened, I can understand how that would be totally possible. Bill Thames, who knew Duane from way back in the early days in Florida told me this weekend he couldn't belive there wasn't still stuff out there no one has heard. He's right, there is. I wonder if any of that will eventually see the light of day.


I think what I meant to say was that I'm surprised that the recordings that are certainly out there that nobody has heard, haven't surfaced yet...like boxes of tapes from the Shoals, and unlabled demo tapes.

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 12:55 AM
Oh, I'm sure there are some really amazing things out there no one has heard about yet.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Peach Pro



Karma:
Posts: 237
(237 all sites)
Registered: 10/16/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 04:20 AM
posted on 10/31/06 at 04:18
The "telegram story" first appeared in Tony Glover's essay from the "Anthology" album in 1972.

Tony wrote, "Duane moved into Berry's house and just laid back. One day a telegram came for Duane from Muscle Shoals. Rick Hall had been impressed with his playing on the Hour Glass session and had taken down his address. He wanted Duane on hand for a Wilson Pickett session he had coming up."

That paragraph is immediately followed by, "'It seems like it was a trial session to get Pickett's recording business,' Duane had told me. 'Rick was getting musicians from all over to be on hand.'"

After the Anthology came out, the "telegram story" appeared in dozens of articles about Duane, including the Guitar Player 10/81 issue. So did the story about Rick hearing the Hour Glass tapes.

In fact, the GP article by Jas Obrecht repeats the information almost exactly: "He moved in with Oakley until Fame owner Rick Hall, remembering the Hour Glass dates, sent him a telegram inviting him to participate in Wilson Pickett's November '68 sessions."

The reason I, personally, can't get any of this to gel is because of the following:

1) Rick would have had to somehow acquire the address of Berry Oakley - a person he did not know and had never met - so he could send the telegram to Duane. (He couldn't have called Duane on the phone, either, without knowing Berry's phone number.)

2) When I interviewed Rick Hall back in 1978, only a decade after Duane had been a session player in Muscle Shoals, Rick was completely surprised when I told him that the Hour Glass had actually recorded some sides at his studio in April of 1968. His response to me was, "Gee, Duane talked about his brother a lot when he was working here, but I never knew his brother had actually been to my studio." Maybe Rick forgot he knew, but I think it's more likely that Jas Obrecht simply reported what he had read in Tony Glover's liner notes.

3) As already discussed, the "Hey Jude" session was in November of '68. It's on the tape box. Duane had already played on a number of dates in Muscle Shoals by then. In the same issue of GP, Jimmy Johnson says, "The first session he had with Wilson - the "Hey Jude" session - was a really important one because it brought him to the attention of Jerry Wexler." EVERYBODY, including Wexler, says the "Hey Jude" session is the one that turned everybody's head. But if Duane had already played on Pickett sessions in October, it couldn't have been "the first session he had with Wilson."

Personally - whether it was the first Pickett session or the tenth one - I don't think it really matters all that much in the overall scheme of things. The thing that matters is that the "Hey Jude" session is the one that absolutely made Duane in Muscle Shoals, and eventually throughout the world.

4) Duane was just like the rest of us when it comes to making up a good story. That sentence from Tony Glover's essay speaks volumes: "'It seems like it was a trial session to get Pickett's recording business,' Duane had told me. 'Rick was getting musicians from all over to be on hand.'"

First of all, it wasn't a trial session to get Pickett's business. Pickett had already recorded a ton of hits at Fame. Secondly, Rick wasn't getting musicians from all over to be on hand for the "Hey Jude" session. Pickett showed up unannounced. Rick said it. Wexler varified it.

Or maybe there are grains of truth in all of the above (except for Duane's "trial session" comment). All one can do is try to deduce some sort of series of potential facts that seem plausible. Who knows? Maybe by 1978 Rick had forgotten he'd heard the Hour Glass tapes. Maybe hearing the tapes did cause him to want to get in touch with Duane. Maybe he called Duane's mother's house and she said, "You'll have to send him a telegram at Berry Oakley's address because I don't know his phone number." Maybe the dates on the tape boxes are wrong and "Hey Jude" really was the first session Duane played on. Maybe Pickett didn't show up unannounced the way Rick and Wexler both remember it.

Or maybe Tony got the story wrong (which I think he did), Jas repeated it in Guitar Player, and everybody who read both of those pieces (and all the later articles that repeated the same story) are now taking it to be the gospel.

Does it REALLY matter? Maybe. On the other hand, as I said before, I think what really matters is that Duane broke through via his guitar solo on "Hey Jude." He took a pop song, had Pickett turn it into a soul song, and then shook up everything by playing an unbelievable rock guitar solo over the coda. Musically, it was sheer genius. Everything else is just details.

There is a great book by Tony Fletcher called "Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend." In it, he dispells all of the myths about Moon. How many times have we seen footage of both Roger and Pete talking about playing at a gig with no drummer when this "ginger man" - Keith, wearing a ginger suit and having ginger-dyed hair - came up, sat down at the drum kit, and then blew them away with his incredible drumming? Fletcher, whose well-researched book clocks in at over 600 pages, actually found the band's audition notice for a drummer in a local music paper. With that starting point, he interviewed everybody until he discovered that Keith had, indeed, auditioned to be the band's drummer in a much more traditional way than the Roger and Pete version of events.

In a thousand interviews, the songwriting/record producing duo I work for have told the story of moving to NYC from LA back in 1957 because they were going to be producing the Coasters for Atlantic Records (which didn't have an LA office in those days). Not long ago, one of my bosses walks into my office and says, "I was talking to this guy yesterday who reminded me that the reason we moved to New York was because RCA had hired us to produce records for them. I had completely forgotten about that."

They had told the same story so many times, it had become the truth to them. Just like Roger and Pete, no doubt, believe that Keith Moon just showed up at a gig one night - all ginger from head to toe - and became their drummer.

Keith Richards tells the story (endlessly) about the first time he saw Muddy Waters. According to Keith, Muddy was painting the ceiling in the lobby of Chess Records. Marshall Chess says Muddy was always dressed to the nines, and that there's no way in the world he would've painted anybody's ceiling - especially not the Chess brothers'.

In the entertainment business, the story has to be entertaining. I've heard dozens of songwriters tell the story of how this or that song came to be.

Every story is about how, "We just couldn't come up with a song for the Boxtops, so we went over to the bar across the street from the studio and I told my songwriting partner, 'Man, I'm so sorry I couldn't come up with anything tonight that I could just cry like a baby.' And my partner said, "That's it! Cry Like a Baby!' And we ended up writing the song in 15 minutes."

And then there's, "We were trying to come up with a song for Little Anthony and the Imperials. When we couldn't come up with anything, I said to the other two guys I was writing with, 'I'm going out of my head trying to come up with something,' and they said, 'That's it! Goin' Out of My Head!'" And we ended up writing the song in 15 minutes.

Not ONCE have I ever heard a songwriter say, "Me and my partner were sitting in a little cubicle in the Brill Building when he started playing a riff and I started coming up with various and sundry phrases that I thought worked with the riff he was playing, and before long we had a couple of verses and a chorus, and that's how the biggest hit we ever wrote came to be."

In the end, my point is this: Sending a telegram sounds exciting. That's a good story in the making. Hearing a tape by a defunct band and saying, "That guitar player is exactly who I'm looking for to play on Wilson Pickett's next session - let's find him," makes for a good story. But there's just no way I can get the stories to fit with the facts. How could Rick Hall have known that - at some unknown point in the not too distant future - Jerry Wexler was going to call him and say, "Pickett's on a plane headed your way. I've produced every other Pickett session but you're going to produce this one because I'm not coming down there." I just can't get it to work - not with the timeline or anything else.

Duane, being without a band because his brother just took off for L.A., deciding to go up to Muscle Shoals to get into studio work there of his own volition makes the most sense to me. Rick Hall saying that Duane came up looking for work confirms what makes the most sense to me.

I'm not looking to take anything away from anybody else's story. Like I said, there could be grains of truth in just about everybody's stories about Duane. In the matter of Duane ending up in Muscle Shoals, I went with what seemed the most logical and the most plausible. I could've just repeated the Glover/Obrecht version of events like everyone else before me had done, but I chose to dig a little deeper, and all I can do is hope I came a little bit closer to getting it right.

Randy

http://www.skydogbook.com


[Edited on 10/31/2006 by bongorandy]

 
<<  1    2    3    4  >>  


Powered by XForum 1.81.1 by Trollix Software

Privacy | Terms of Service | Report Infringement | Personal Data Management | Contact Us
The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND name, The ALLMAN BROTHERS name, likenesses, logos, mushroom design and peach truck are all registered trademarks of THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. whose rights are specifically reserved. Any artwork, visual, or audio representations used on this web site CONTAINING ANY REGISTERED TRADEMARKS are under license from The ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. A REVOCABLE, GRATIS LICENSE IS GRANTED TO ALL REGISTERED PEACH CORP MEMBERS FOR The DOWNLOADING OF ONE COPY FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. ANY DISTRIBUTION OR REPRODUCTION OF THE TRADEMARKS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE PROHIBITED AND ARE SPECIFICALLY RESERVED BY THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO.,INC.
site by Hittin' the Web Group with www.experiencewasabi3d.com